- Associated Press - Saturday, January 29, 2011

LONDON (AP) - Opera star Dame Margaret Price, considered one of the world’s leading sopranos, has died at her home in Wales. She was 69.

Funeral director Paul Jenkins told The Associated Press Saturday that her funeral is expected to be held next week but had no further details.

The famed soprano, known for her exquisite renditions of Mozart’s complicated music, died of heart failure Friday, British press reports said.

Price, who rose to prominence after her debut as Cherubino in Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro at the Welsh National Opera in 1962, had performed in most of the world’s great opera houses by the time she retired in 1999.

She was known for the striking purity and beauty of her voice.

After her debut in Wales, Price went on to play Cherubino at the Royal Opera House at Convent Garden, London’s glittering showcase for world-class talent.

An early triumph in the United States was in Mozart’s The Magic Flute in San Francisco, which she followed with stunning performances of other Mozart works in Germany.

Over the course of her career, Price was honored in many countries, received honorary degrees from top universities and was made a Dame Commander of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II in 1993.

She also appeared on numerous records and performed for television.

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